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GAO Issues Technology Assessment on How to Make Processes and Products More Sustainable
On February 8, 2018, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a technology assessment report to congressional requestors entitled Chemical Innovation: Technologies to Make Processes and Products More Sustainable. GAO states it conducted this technology assessment “to explore, among other things, the opportunities, challenges, and federal roles in sustainable chemistry.” This report discusses (1) how stakeholders define and assess sustainable chemistry; (2) available or developing technologies to make chemical processes and products more sustainable; and (3) how the federal government, industry and others contribute to the development and use of such technologies. GAO states it is not making recommendations in this report, but is identifying strategic implications.
As part of its assessment, GAO interviewed stakeholders from government, industry, and academia; convened a meeting of experts on sustainable chemistry technologies and approaches; and surveyed a non-generalizable sample of chemical companies. GAO identified three categories of more sustainable chemistry technologies -- catalysts, solvents, and continuous processing -- that demonstrate both progress and potential:
GAO also identified, through its interaction with stakeholders, the following strategic implications of sustainable chemistry; and potential options to address these challenges and realize the full potential of these technologies:
More information on the report and its strategic implications is available on GAO’s website.